We must admit that the photographers we choose to publish on All About Photo are somewhat our favorites, so it won't surprise you if the photographers in this Top 10 are already featured on the website. But we have also discovered new incredible portfolios. We look forward to find out more about their work.
Congratulations to the 50 finalists!
Who doesn't know Aline Smithson?
Talented Creator and Editor of the incredible blog LENSCRATCH, Aline Smithson is also a well known juror for major photography contests.
After a career as a New York Fashion Editor and working along side the greats of fashion photography, Aline Smithson discovered the family Rolleiflex and never looked back. Now represented by galleries in the U.S. and Europe and published throughout the world, Aline continues to create her award-winning photography with humor, compassion, and a 50-year-old camera. She has exhibited widely including solo shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Fort Collins Museum of Contemporary Art, the Lishui Festival in China, the Tagomago Gallery in Barcelona and Paris, and the Wallspace Gallery in Seattle and Santa Barbara. In addition, her work is held in a number of museum collections. Her photographs have been featured in publications including PDN (cover), the PDN Photo Annual, Communication Arts Photo Annual, Eyemazing, Soura, Visura, Fraction, Artworks, Lenswork Extended, Shots, Pozytyw, and Silvershotz magazines. In 2012, Aline received the Rising Star Award through the Griffin Museum of Photography for her contributions to the photographic community. She also was awarded Honorable Mention for Excellence in Teaching through CENTER for 2012. Aline founded and writes the blogzine, Lenscratch, that celebrates a different contemporary photographer each day and offers opportunity for exhibition. She has been the Gallery Editor for Light Leaks Magazine, is a contributing writer for Diffusion, Too Much Chocolate, Lucida, and F Stop Magazines, has written book reviews for photoeye, and has provided the forwards for artist's books by Tom Chambers, Flash Forward 12, Robert Rutoed, amongst others. Aline has curated and jurored exhibitions for a number of galleries, organizations, and on-line magazines. She was an overall juror in 2012 for Review Santa Fe, a 2009, 2010, and 2011, 2012 juror for Critical Mass, and a reviewer at many photo festivals across the United States. Though she was nominated for The Excellence in Photographic Teaching Award in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 and awarded an Honorable Mention in 2012 and was nominated for The Santa Fe Prize in Photography in 2009 by Center, she considers her children her greatest achievement. Aline is also a founding member of the Six Shooters collective.
Project Statement: Only Child When he was five, his daddy was hanged for murder. When he was six, his mother left him on the steps of the orphanage. Later, when he was much older, he tried to kill himself...and when it didn't work the first time...he tried it again. This lost boy became my dad, and I was his only child. He was my first love...the man against whom I measured all others. It is only now, eight years after his death that I have come to understand how much my sense of 'normal' was colored by my dad's dysfunctional past. My childhood was a study in duality. Our relationship was a complex two-step, and I was never quite sure who was leading. After his two suicide attempts, the dynamic changed and I became the parent, and he became the child. And the dance began again. I began this project eight years ago when my father's death left a raw open wound. Somehow I knew that over time the weight of loss would ease, and I would be compelled to revisit...to reassess...and to find connections between that wounded man-child and the solemn little girl who became his lifeline. As a photographer, I used to chase 'other people's' stories until I realized that the stories I knew best were the ones already inside me, just waiting to be told.
Bear Kirkpatrick's work has been exhibited at the Center for Fine Art Photography (Ft.Collins), The Rayko Center (San Francisco), wall-space Gallery (Santa Barbara and Seattle), photo-eye Gallery (Santa Fe), Flowers Gallery (New York), and the PRC Gallery (Boston). His Wallportrait series was recently awarded a solo exhibitions at the Center for Fine Art Photography by Amy Arbus who juried the Portraits 2014 exhibition. His work has been published in Eyemazing (Netherlands), The Opera (Germany), Photo+ (South Korea), and Musee (New York City).
He works with the American artist Robert Wilson as the chief installer of his video portraits in private residences, museums, and galleries around the world.
He lives and works in Portsmouth, NH.
Angela Bacon-Kidwell is an award winning photographer and visual artist that lives and works in Texas. Angela has a BFA from Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas, with specialization in painting and photography. Her work emerges from her journey of recovering a sense of self, strength and spirituality through an examination of her identities as daughter, granddaughter, wife, mother and artist. Her photographic work has received numerous awards and honors and has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally. Recent awards and recognition's include: nominated for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography in 2011, Finalist for the John Clarence Laughlin Award, First place in the Palm Springs Photo Festival, First Place in the Texas Photographic Society International Competition and 2012 lecture at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.
Laura Stevens (born in England) is a photographic artist living in Paris. She received her BA from Leeds Metropolitan University, before furthering her studies at the University of Brighton in 2007. Stevens has participated in group exhibitions at institutions including The National Portrait Gallery, The Centre for Fine Art Photography, Encontros da Imagem festival, the Singapore International Photography Festival with a solo show at The Latvian Museum of Photography. Her work is also represented in private collections. Laura received a special distinction in the LensCulture Emerging Talents 2014, nominated as a finalist in the PHPA (Photo d'Hotel Photo d'Auteur) 2014 and in The Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2013/2014. Stevens' series of narrative portraits often represent and fictionalise personal situations with the domestic landscape serving as a backdrop, using cinematic drama and painterly aesthetics along themes of intimacy, relationships and loss.
S. Gayle Stevens
S. Gayle Stevens has worked in antiquarian photographic processes for over fifteen years. Her chosen medium is wet plate collodion for its fluidity and individuality. She exhibits extensively across the United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and China. Ms. Stevens received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999. She is an educator, speaker, juror, curator and an active member of the photographic community. Named one of the Critical Mass Top Fifty Photographers for 2010, she received second place in the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards in 2011 and was named a finalist for the Clarence John Laughlin Award in 2012. Her work has been featured in Fraction, Square, Shots, Diffusion, B + W Photography, South by Southeast and Fuzion magazines and in the recently published book Inventing Reality, New Orleans Visionary Photography. North Light Press published a book of Stevens' work, Calligraphy, in their 11 + 1 Signature series. Christopher James will feature her work in the third edition of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes. Stevens' work is widely collected and is part of the permanent collection of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Rockford Museum of Art and the Center for Fine Art Photography among others. A member of the Posse photo collective, she divides her time shooting in Pass Christian, Mississippi and Downers Grove, Illinois, where she resides.
Ayumi Tanaka is a Japanese-born artist, living and working in New York City. She received a BFA from Osaka University of Arts in Japan in 2002, and studied at International Center of Photography in 2010. She has been working on reminiscences of fairytales composed of three-dimensional mixed media and photography. Her work has been presented internationally at exhibitions including Pictura Gallery in Bloomington IN, ITEZA Sculpture Gallery, Kyoto in Japan, Pingyao International Photography Festival 2010 in China, at the Dumbo Arts Festival 2011 in NY, and at 25 CPW Red Roots Gallery in NY. She has been invited to show her latest work at LOOK3 festival of the Photographs 2012 in Charlottesville VA. She was awarded International Center of Photography Director Fellowship in 2010.
Waiting for Rapture Quiet suffering occurs within a family unit living under the auspices of the ideal American Dream. A psychologically violent relationship with loved ones, and an immersive cult-like experience with an evangelical Christian church contributed to my loss of spiritual and domestic faith. These issues take center-stage in a story that emerges from the walls of a single-family home and unfolds onto a Midwest landscape. In my story, these characters exist at the intersection of domestic duress and spirituality. I photograph my family in parables of love, reverie, respect and quiet tragedy. These images are a tangible manifestation of fantasy, memories and experiences acquired during my journey to adulthood, and function as a supplement to the family album assembled by my parents.
I am intrigued by ranchers who dig their life's work out of the land, day in and day out, 365 days a year. I have photographed one particular rancher, John Hoiland, through all four seasons. Hoiland's family came to Montana in 1906. He still lives on the same 940 acres and in the same house his family built before he was born. He never married. His parents died, leaving John to move relentlessly from one chore to the next until daylight is gone. "I have to do what three of us did," he says. Some of the outbuildings that sprawl across John's acres seem to be hanging on for dear life, but each has a purpose and almost every car or truck he ever owned including his everyday vehicle, a 1939 Chevy truck can be seen as you drive by. The same stove his father bought after World War I for $35 heats the kitchen. That stove and a wood furnace in the living room have warmed him since birth. I photograph to convey the rugged life this rancher endures, barely getting by, at the mercy of the elements, the cost of raising healthy animals a constant threat; I wonder what keeps him going. This series is a testament to these hardscrabble individuals who sacrifice their life to the western landscape.
This project documents the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power's (LADWP) legally mandated dust mitigation program at Owens Dry Lake in Southern California. It is the latest chapter in a century of legal battles over water rights and air quality in Owens Valley. Owens Lake lies in Southern California's Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains, about 200 miles northeast of Los Angeles. This 110-square-mile lake began to dry up in 1913 when the City of Los Angeles diverted the Owens River into the Los Angeles Aqueduct. The new water supply allowed Los Angeles to continue its rapid growth and turned the arid San Fernando Valley into an agricultural oasis, but at a tremendous environmental cost. By 1926, Owens Lake was a dry alkali flat, and its dust became the largest source of carcinogenic particulate air pollution in North America. In 1998, the Environmental Protection Agency mandated that the LADWP take steps to minimize this dust pollution, which was 100 times greater than federal air safety standards. LADWP began construction on the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Project in the year 2000. They have installed 42 square miles of dust mitigation zones, including 34 water pump stations, buried drip tubing, and irrigation bubblers to partially flood the dry lakebed. This dust mitigation program has cost more than $1.2 billion to date and requires so much water that it may not be sustainable as climate change results in a drier climate for California, which is currently experiencing the worst drought in recorded history.